Tuesday Night TV and Open Thread

It's the finals on The Voice. I hope Beverly wins.

Nightline follows the DEA on a marijuana smuggling investigation. More Reefer Madness:The agents say "marijuana smuggling has contributed to 35,000 deaths along the border in the past five years."

On Frontline on PBS, The Child Cases, a investigative report on the faulty science behind shaken baby syndrome. Even one of the prosecution experts in the Nanny case of Louise Woodward has switched sides. Dr. Patrick Barnes:

Do you think the child in that case was shaken to death?

No, the child had an impact injury. You can't get a skull fracture from shaking. You can't get a wrist fracture from shaking. The child had a traumatic impact injury. Shaking was irrelevant in that case in retrospect.


But the prosecution's theory was this child was shaken.

That's correct. And at that time, that was my theory going into that case, based on my previous 20 years of experience in child abuse and accepting shaken baby syndrome without ever questioning it. And that case changed my entire approach. ...

If you were called to testify in the Woodward case today, what would you say?

I would say that this is most likely a traumatic impact injury, that I would not be considering shaking, that this could be accidental just as it could be non-accidental or abusive. And I would say that from the imaging findings, my area of expertise, you cannot select out, accuse, indict or convict any particular caretaker based on the medical evidence that we have.

And on whether Louise Woodward was responsible for the child's death:

Do you think Louise Woodward was wrongly convicted?

I think it's possible. I think looking back on the case -- and subsequently I was contacted by writers about that case. Looking back on it, and [taking] a second look and [thinking] about some other individuals that had come forward, witnesses about other things that may have been going on in that home or elsewhere, I was forwarding this information on. And I knew from that point on that I just have to be more careful with these cases. I do believe it was a trauma case; it wasn't a medical condition. It could have been potentially abuse. I am not sure Louise Woodward was the one who abused the child. .. (my emphasis.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    I read this (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Dadler on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 11:38:42 PM EST
    Amazed the prosecutor still wanted to go ahead after the lead detective came to have so many doubts that he wouldn't testify in his own case.  

    More than amazed really.  Completely perplexed.

    What Boggles My Mind... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:22:49 AM EST
    ... is the prosecutor going after the guy with shaky evidence, then claiming the reason they didn't go after the girl is because they weren't 100% sure.

    They should have investigated the woman further, she got these ideas somewhere.  I am sure they had photos that should have been compared to the website found.  Did a friend really send it to her ?  The tape, rope, and other materials had to be purchased somewhere.  They should have followed her steps for days before the 'attack', like they did with him after.  This attack was far too thought out for there not to be a trail IMO.

    Everything thing they did to investigate him, should have been done with her.  But all the investigator did was call hoping for a confession, pretty weak tea.  

    Even though he doesn't blame them for the accusation, I would blame them for not making any sort of effort to find out what really happened.

    Making a false accusation that has the potential of taking any form of a normal life away is pretty GD serious.  Right behind murder IMO.


    Not true of all (none / 0) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 01:20:14 AM EST
    but there's something terribly twisted in the minds of too many prosecutors.

    "Child Cases" on Frontline was (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 01:33:32 AM EST
    riveting, I thought.  Turns out there are a bunch of different things that look like but aren't "shaken baby syndrome," a diagnosis that's convicted a whole lot of people who may well not be guilty of anything.

    One of the things the Frontline series revisits repeatedly (with different filmmakers) is the perversion of justice.

    Next week, they're rebroadcasting a program called "Confessions," which is about a group of military guys who one by one got coerced and intimidated and basically brainwashed into confessing, in gruesome detail, to a gang rape and murder none of them had anything to do with.

    They also did a fascinating program last year about a guy who was convicted and executed in Texas (no stay by Rick Perry) for the arson deaths of his little daughters on the basis of totally outdated and incompetent fire investigation.  This guy was pretty clearly executed though he was entirely innocent.

    Todd Willingham (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Rojas on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 06:56:06 AM EST
    I actually hope Perry throws his hat in which will put the case back on the national radar once again. There are likely thousands, defiantly hundreds of folks rotting in prisons across the nation based on the same discredited forensics as Willingham.

    He walked the kids to school every morning (none / 0) (#24)
    by loveed on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:05:52 PM EST
    "When I get off of this mountain, (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:53:14 AM EST
    ya know where I wanna go..."

    Straight to the LIRR to catch the Garth Hudson show!

    It's time for an Organ-asm with the Wonder from Windsor, the Lord of the Lowrey, the architecht of some of the greatest sounds rock-n-roll has ever produced.

    To think his parents once worried Garth would squander his immense musical talents by playing in a rock-n-roll band...praise the lord his folks relented!

    Kdog, is the Chesterfield Club (none / 0) (#18)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 12:46:13 PM EST
    still open in NYC? If my son isn't here by July 8, I'll hop a train and play some marathon games up there.

    then when I win a fat roll of Benjamins we'll hit Atlantic City.

    It's a contingency. Either there, or with Jim over in Tunica... blow off one type of stress by indulging in the good kind.

    I've got a medium roll of Benjamins now, need to make it fat as Jeffinalabama!


    Chesterfield... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by kdog on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 12:58:18 PM EST
    is long closed afaik.

    I haven't been playing much at all so I'm out of the loop as to where my old haunts have moved after getting robbed aka raided by the police...but I can put my ear to the street and find the spot if you wanna visit...that would be mighty cool.

    Probably better off sticking to AC though for poker action...why risk the cops jacking our rolls?  I could meet ya there...its summertime, my buddy was down this past Sunday and said the Boardwalk was flush with bikini-clad eye candy:)

    Hopefully your boy gets home though...degeneracy is always here when you wanna take a trip.


    Meh. The Mayfair closed years ago. (none / 0) (#19)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 12:51:02 PM EST
    BTD, any good poker rooms left in NYC that you know of? I know it's not your game of choice.

    NYC is a lot less humid than Tunica in July, and the pastrami and dirty water dogs are better.


    Pig/Piglet abuse warning (none / 0) (#1)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 09:06:33 PM EST
    If you're watching the news later tonight or tomorrow, ya might want to be aware of a video that could pop up (ESPECIALLY if their are kids in the room!) I was working through some training videos and had the sound muted, so when I looked up, OY. Did my 'duty' and listened to the piece. Apparently tomorrow this will be released in Des Moines IA, but it's already making the rounds. Was shot at a factory pig farm there. One of the largest in the state and looks to be distributed to some major grocery stores and Costco, etc. To say there's a high level of cruelty going on would be an understatement, imo. Unbelievable what some people think is ok . . .  

    Link to story with no video or graphic images, another safe link

    The treatment of pigs (none / 0) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 01:19:18 AM EST
    is particularly vile and horrific because they're extremely intelligent animals, a lot closer to dolphins than to cows or sheep.  No animal should be mistreated (I even feel awful about killing house spiders and Japanese beetles!), but pigs are as smart and aware as your kid.

    For that very same reason (none / 0) (#8)
    by Nemi on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 06:44:33 AM EST
    I stopped eating pork years back. Even though I love the taste. Not that it makes much difference to the producers except I feel better about myself. And even as pigs are allegedly a more intelligent species than say, dogs - we still allow them to be treated that way. It's cruel all right and unforgiveable.

    I'll go back to eating pork when I can be assured that all pigs are organically fed, and free-ranged. Which will probably be ... never. :(

    (Random link)


    I don't watch much TV but (none / 0) (#3)
    by ZtoA on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 11:26:01 PM EST
    I find your TV posts interesting.

    I'm watching the SHO show "The Real 'L' Word" with my niece. Last summer I watched it with her and her, then, girlfriend and sometimes a bunch of other girls. Apparently young people naturally watch TV in social groups and comment freely and loudly. I do that too so I really love watching with them.

    It's a fascinating show and I can't quite figure out how its made. We have very definite opinions about the people. Are they "people" or "actors" or "participants" or what? I guess people are hired to enact themselves...or act like themselves with a very professional camera and sound crew present.

    Most are interesting people, but I know lots of interesting people and I don't really want to know all about their intimate conversations or sex acts and I don't want to watch them vomiting. I guess these shows feel like being an armchair BFF- and getting to harshly judge them at the same time.

    My niece just went to SF for the pride parade which seems to me like a compensation for not being honored with/at a prom and everyone needs/wants a prom as a teen. She told me that some of these 'L' word people were going to be there. Last summer she and her girlfriend got me to go to meet one of them at some  coffee shop/bar and they were so excited. I have the most wonderful photos of them on that day looking so happy and them with the celebrity looking so proud.  And the celebrity (because that is what these people/actors become) signed my arm with a sharpie. Another proud photo moment.

    Politico (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:32:18 AM EST
    is reporting that Obama is going to give the GOP everything they want in the budget negotiations.

    I was struck Sunday watching Boehner (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by ruffian on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 08:33:03 AM EST
    (again) at how one sided the "negotiation" has always been. He said several times that there just aren't the votes for tax increases, essentially saying it was futile to even talk about it. What is the point of discussions if it is not to potentially change the outcome of votes? It's like saying you are having a negotiation with a car dealer when he has no intention of lowering the price. All the GOP is "negotiating" is the size of the spending cuts.

    I hate to argue against strong executive powers in one situation (war) and for them in another (bypassing the debt ceiling), but I don't see any other way.

    Of course the way Obama will see is just to give them everything they want.


    On a lighter note (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 10:20:04 AM EST
    I thought this was funny.  Right now on boston.com, the top e-mailed stories are as follows:

    1.Blueberry cake with streusel topping
    2.Glazed blueberry cake
    3.Jewish food from everywhere
    4.Which is the fairest cake of all?
    5.Prominent pair poised to take up the defense
    6.Blueberry loaf cake
    7.Marriage cannot be redefined

    guess there are some hungry readers out there.  Also, Jeff Jacoby (author of #7) is a tool.  Blah blah, they're ruining the purpose of marriage, blah blah.

    Or Maybe... (none / 0) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 11:29:40 AM EST
    ... People share recipes more than news stories.

    Actually (none / 0) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 02:08:19 PM EST
    not surprised on this. It all gets back to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs that's going on right now.

    Blueberry season is getting into (none / 0) (#22)
    by nycstray on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 05:36:59 PM EST
    full swing? We've had berries at our farmers market for a few weeks now, and just starting into peak on some.

    the search for truth (none / 0) (#23)
    by loveed on Wed Jun 29, 2011 at 07:04:20 PM EST
     There is no such thing in our judicial system.
     Nancy Grace claim to fame she never lost a case. But her job was to search for the truth. People get all wrap up in the emotional aspect(how someone sobs, there action) instead of the evidence.
      I watched the nanny trial. The judge gave me some hope for our system of justice. Also I think there was some backlash from the OJ trial(can't spell his last name Barry Scheck was one of the lawyers),high profile, she was a foreigner.
      It was so evident the baby fell off the bed while with the grandmother.
     When you watch these cases the prosecution always bring in some new expert,from some non-accredited lab.
      If this happen when everyone can watch and nothing changes. What about the trials no one care about(usually the poor)?
      Our justice system have become a second rate TV sitcom,solved in 60 mins.